Any foot and ankle specialist will tell you that foot surgery is a last resort effort to restore foot health and improve a patient's overall health. Why is this? When looking at foot surgery, whether it's as minor as resetting a broken toe or as complex and reconstructing an ankle, you should take the situation seriously. Here are the reasons why.
Surgery Can Be Expensive
Even with insurance, foot surgery can be expensive. This niche field of surgery requires a podiatric sports medicine specialist or another specialist in foot and ankle care and can require you to travel to get the care you need. You also have to pay for the recovery room and the anesthesia, if necessary, which can add up.
If you have alternatives to foot surgery that your foot and ankle specialist would like you to try, consider them, even if they take time and effort on your part to do.
Surgery Takes Time to Heal From
After you have foot surgery, you won't be able to bear weight on your treated foot for a while. Not only can you not bear weight on your feet for some time, if you have to get foot surgery on both feet, your foot and ankle care representative also may not want to operate on both feet at once, which prolongs your overall healing time.
In addition to requiring ample healing time, having foot surgery requires care and rehabilitation as well. To ensure tissue heals well, including muscles and tendons, physical therapy or occupational therapy may be required as part of the healing process. You may also have to perform special exercises at home in addition to watching for and managing pain and swelling during the healing process.
Surgery May Not Be Necessary
There's a reason why foot surgery is the last thing a foot and ankle specialist wants to recommend — it might not even be necessary. Jumping straight to surgery when rehabilitative measures can be taken is not always a wise idea and should always be weighed heavily against other options. Unless foot surgery is the only solution, consider other options, including orthopedic shoes, cushioned padding, foot flexing exercises, and even dietary changes, first.
Your foot and ankle clinic specialist will show you the options you have for your feet, and if foot surgery is the best one, they will go through the procedure with you. This way, you'll know what to expect overall.
Walking is simple, right? You just put one foot in front of the other. This can be harder than it sounds if your feet are sore or plagued by ailments like bunions, hammertoe, or plantar fasciitis. If you've ever struggled to simply put one foot in front of the other, you're familiar with this unique pain and frustration. Thankfully, podiatrists have solutions for most common foot ailments. In the articles we've collected here, you can learn all about those solutions, and also about podiatrists in general. We hope that by being more informed, you can take a more preventative approach to foot care also also know what to expect when you seek treatment.